The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Jun 20, 2019

U.S. Senate Seat Election in 2020

     Roy Moore is expected to announce his candidacy (or his non-candidacy, but I'm betting he will run) for one of the U.S. Senate seats from Alabama today. 

     He ran against Democratic candidate Doug Jones---and lost---in 2016. If he wins the Republican Primary next March 3rd, and becomes the GOP nominee, it will be a rematch.

     Meanwhile The Alabama U.S Senator who is not up for reelection next year says former U.S. Senator Jeff Session, has not decided if he will run for the seat:

"Sessions I don't think has ruled it out," Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters. "I've talked to him about it. I think if he ran he would be a formidable candidate, formidable. I've not encouraged him to run, but he's a friend, and if he ran I think he'd probably clear the field."
                                                                                       (From a Stanford Advocate story,)

The August 27th Montgomery Mayor's Race.

     A friend of mine was called as part of a survey of the Montgomery's Mayor's race the other day, and the friend allowed me to listen in, and it was interesting.

     They told my friend Todd Strange was not running for reelection (but also asked how much my friend liked him and his policies.) They named all of the candidates and asked how familiar my friend was with each of them.

     I believe the polling was being done by the Ed Crowell Campaign because there was an extra effort to ask about his credentials.
     He's a retired Air Force General. 

     You can watch an interview I did with him before I retired. It was part of the Face2Face interview series on Alabama News Network. Watch it HERE.

     Crowell, and all but one of the other candidates, are African-American, and the polling identified the race of every candidate as they asked questions. They asked for important issues, and my friend named two: schools and crime. They specifically asked questions about whether Crowell would be more or less likely to get the friend's support if he---fill in the blank on possible solutions to problems.

     The actual qualifying for the city election starts on 7-2-19 and ends on 7-16-19. The election is on August 27th. 

     It is a non-partisan election, meaning candidates do not run by party. Because of the number of candidates, I believe it is likely there will be a run off. That happens if none of the candidates gets at least 50% + 1 vote. The top two candidates then compete in the runoff on October 8th. The winner takes office on November 12th.

     You'll find information about the municipal election HERE.

Jun 18, 2019

Music for Cats

     If  you have a cat, ask Alexa to play "music for cats"....NOT cat's Music (that's the Broadway musical)...greatly relaxing soundtrack for cats (and people too).

     This is Weaver, actually my neighbor's cat, who loves to come and spend time with us. His favorite spot in on the desk in front of the monitor! Especially when Alexa is playing his soundtrack.

Is Obesity in Poorer Children Dropping?

A newly released national report on obesity in children finds:
The overall crude prevalence of obesity decreased from 15.9% in 2010 to 13.9% in 2016

The statistic for Alabama in 2016 was 16.3% 

"Prevalence of childhood obesity is high in the United States, especially among children from lower-income families.1 Among children aged 2 through 4 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), obesity prevalence increased between 2000 and 2010 but declined through 2014.2 The decline was statistically significant among all racial/ethnic groups and in 34 of 56 state WIC agencies. The present study examines trends in overweight and obesity by age, sex, and race/ethnicity using WIC data from 2010 to 2016."

More information about obesity in Alabama children is HERE.

New Mars Crater

From The University of Arizona:

"An impressionist painting? No, it’s a new impact crater that has appeared on the surface of Mars, formed at most between September 2016 and February 2019. What makes this stand out is the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust. (Special thanks to Nahúm Méndez Chazarra.)"

65 years Ago Today: Alabama Attorney General Murdered in Phenix City, AL

June 18 1954-----gangsters murder Alabama Attorney General Albert Patterson in Phenix City.

There is  statue of him on the Alabama Capitol Grounds.

The Alabama Department of Archives and history has just obtained papers from a group of Phenix City residents who documented the illegal activities going on in town and met to discuss ways to end the gambling and prostitution. (Some of the pages are reproduced below). All of that was before Patterson's murder. His son John became the Democratic Party nominee for Attorney General and was elected, later winning election as Governor. He was a staunch segregationist.

John Patterson is still living.  
He will turn 98 years old on September 27th. He lives on his family's land in Goldville.

Some of the papers of the group that monitored illegal activities in Phenix City.

      The crime ridden Alabama City became the subject of a movie by the same name, and this photo was taken during filming. I found it on a website that shows old movie filming locations, than and now.

Jun 17, 2019

Water Unsafe After Tyson Spillage. Race Cancelled.

     The Daily Mountain Eagle newspaper reports an annual Sipsy River Race set for this Saturday has been cancelled because the water is unsafe for humans following a spill from what is described as the largest rendering plant in the world in Hanceville:

"The cancelation is an economic blow to the area because race planners expected 70-plus entrants for this year’s race. 
“We’ve just had a great response this year, and I think it would have been our best year ever,” Salomaa said. “In years past, a lot of people spent money at Riverside Fly Shop, T&R Grocery, and Frosty.”
Planners have talked about rescheduling the race for the fall, but Salomaa really wants to ensure that Tyson cleans up its act before scheduling another race. “I believe it will get better, but we’re going to have to make that happen,” she said."

     Oddly enough, the story does not include any comment from Tyson (or their subsidiary, River Valley Ingredients, from which the spill occurred on June 6th. However, an earlier story offered this quote from the company:

Due to a failure in a pipe owned by River Valley Ingredients located near Hanceville, Alabama, partially treated effluent (liquid waste/sewage) is believed to have reached the Dave Young Creek, which flows to the Mulberry Fork.” 

Jun 16, 2019

New word (at least to me)


 It showed up in a N.Y. Times Maureen Dowd column this morning, and I don't know that I had ever see the word before...though it dates to the 1600's!

"mendaciousness"----Can you guess who Dowd was describing when she used it?


[ men-dey-shuhs ]


telling lies, especially habitually; dishonest; lying; untruthful: a mendacious person.
false or untrue: a mendacious report.

Jun 15, 2019

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Dad. As always, I miss you deeply.

     I was at The Alabama Department of Archives and History much of the day for a symposium put on as part of the year-long observation of Alabama's Bicentennial. 
     The subjects were grouped by decades, from the 1820's through the 2010's.

 The well-planned day was sold out.
  Presenters had ten minutes each to show off artifacts from the archives collections representing those decades...

...including a futuristic 1959 TV featuring a screen that could sit apart from the guts of the TV (via a rather thick 25-foot long cable, of course). Watch a vintage TV commercial for it here.

     Most of the history was much more serious and significant, from the Civil War to The Civil Rights Movement.


ASU professor Bertis English talked about voting after the Civil War, discussing this "Perote Ballot Box"...

... while University of Montevallo History Professor Jim Day talked about the Alabama mining industry, illustrated by this "canary cage" from his own archives (a live-canary would give advance warning to gas buildup in a mine).

You can see many of the artifacts, and more, at The Museum of Alabama inside the archives.